'Terrorists to strike during World Cup matches'

New Delhi: World Cup 2011 cricket match venues could be attacked by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the terror outfit responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, the Intelligence Bureau has warned and asked states to heighten vigil.

According to official sources, the Intelligence Bureau - the country's internal spy wing - has sent advisories on Wednesday, to states that the LeT was planning to strike in India during the ongoing world cricket tournament, jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Coastal states of India have been asked to 'take necessary precautions in their respective jurisdictions to detect any attempt' by terrorists to sneak into India, said an official familiar with the letter sent to state governments.

The sources said that IB has intercepted LeT messages discussing dates and timings of the matches being played in India.

They said that the terrorists were planning to sneak into India by the sea - the same route that the 10 militants who sailed into Mumbai took in November 2008 to launch the three-day long mayhem that killed 166 people.

Apart from the advisories, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai is said to have spoken to police chiefs and chief secretaries of the states hosting cricket matches asking them to be on the alert, the source said.

Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium will host the final on April 2 of the nearly two-month long tournament while Mohali in Punjab will host one of the semi-finals on March 30.

During the Commonwealth Games in October last year, terrorist Illyas Kashmiri, an Al Qaeda operative in Pakistan, had threatened to attack Games athletes. But the event passed off peacefully amid high security restrictions.

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